Law Library Fellows Program
Since 2000, the Law Library Fellows program has been training leaders in law librarianship. The Arizona Law Library Fellows program is a one-of-a-kind program where students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in all aspects of academic law librarianship by working 20 hours per week in the law library alongside seasoned colleagues. With Graduate Assistant wages and tuition remission for two years, our goal is to give our Fellows a highly-tailored experience without taking on additional debt to earn their master’s in library and information science. Our graduates are superbly prepared to begin their new careers and immediately contribute to their institutions and our profession.
What is Law Librarianship?
It is difficult to provide a single all-encompassing definition of law librarianship because there are a variety of positions and libraries that make up the profession. Our colleagues aptly describe the work law librarians perform in each of the major law library types: academic, firm, and government law libraries.
“Academic law libraries provide information, research, and instruction for faculty and students of a law school. . . . Law firm or private law libraries are not open to the public but rather serve the attorneys and other legal professionals in a law office. Government law libraries are located in courts, legislatures, or government agencies at the national, state, or local level. Their mission is to provide information to judges, legislators, and attorneys who work for the government. Some government law libraries, particularly county law libraries, are open to the public and work hard to provide programs to make their materials more accessible to laypeople.” (emphasis added.)
Law librarians are curators and mediators of legal information to a variety of audiences. We make legal resources available, findable, and accessible. Law librarians hail from many different backgrounds and experiences, and have varying levels of legal education and training. While some of us have a JD and even practiced law before finding our way to law libraries, the majority of law librarians do not. The JD is often required to teach legal research and other courses in academic law libraries; the JD is rarely required to work in any other position in academic, law firm, government, and public law libraries. You can learn more about law librarianship, by perusing Introduction to Law Librarianship, co-edited by Fellows Program Director Cas Laskowski, with contributions from several University of Arizona law librarians.
The Fellows Program Advantage
Our Law Library Fellows Program is the first and only fully experiential law librarianship training program in the nation. During the entirety of your time in our program, you will work as a salaried Graduate Assistant for 20 hours per week in the Law Library on a range of projects and initiatives – and given significant guidance, mentoring, responsibility, and autonomy along the way.
Fellows receive graduate tuition remission which covers all tuition for the M.A. in Library & Information Science coursework. Learn more about the benefits of appointment in the GA Manual.
As a result, each Fellow leaves the program superbly prepared to excel in their first professional law library or legal information position, with no additional financial burden. No other program in the country can prepare you to enter the legal information profession the way we can.
Fellows receive a bespoke experience that expands upon the course work by providing:
- A Law Library mentor when you join our team
- An alumni Mentor during the second half of the fellowship
- Individualized course planning guidance
- A Law Library project tailored to career goals
- Individualized career planning and job search guidance
- AALL student membership with 2 career related SIS memberships
- The opportunity to work in each Law Library unit
- The chance to partner with faculty on research projects
- The possibility to lead student outreach events
Fellows can take courses in law librarianship and related skills taught by Law Librarians at the Law Library, such as:
- Teaching Legal Research (including a practicum where fellows have various opportunities to teach)
- Law Library Practice & Administration❊
- Advanced Legal Research ❊
- Foreign and Comparative Legal Research
- Administrative Law Research
- Law Practice Management & Technology
- AI & Big Data in Law Practice
❊These courses also apply towards the Legal Information Graduate Certificate.
The Law Library Fellows program is a dynamic institution that excels in evolving alongside the evolving landscape of legal education, law practice, and law librarianship. Just as the skills and needs of lawyers and academics change, largely driven by technological advances, so do the skills and expertise of law librarians.
The Fellows program invites master’s-level library science students of all levels of legal education (e.g. JD, MLS, BA in Law, Paralegal, Legal Paraprofessional) and legal experience to apply for the Fellows program. We also encourage individuals with education and expertise in technology, data science, or foreign languages -- all in high demand in law libraries -- to apply for the fellowship.
Apply to the Program
Applications for the Fellows Program are considered after acceptance into the School of Information master's program, which candidates must apply to separately. Find full details on applying to the M.A. Library & Information Science on the iSchool website.
Candidates interested in applying to the Fellows Program must have a bachelor's degree or higher. Education or expertise in legal work is preferred. We also encourage those with experience in technology, data science, or foreign languages -- all in high demand in law libraries -- to apply for the fellowship.
To apply to the Fellows Program submit the following in one email to Cas Laskowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Letter of interest answering the following questions:
- Why do you want to be a Law Librarian?
- Why do you want to join the Law Library’s Fellows Program?
- What background or experience do you have that you believe you could leverage in your career in law librarianship?
- Resume or curriculum vitae of education and work experience
- Three professional references with their email and phone number